Gala 65 - 17 Stirling County: Gala win with second-half blitz

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GALA scored a stunning RBS Premiership win over a Stirling County team which home coach George Graham described as a quality side. On Saturday, they were demolished by an aggressive XV, which closed the gap on Ayr at the top of the championship.

Scorers: Gala: Tries: Robertson (3), Dods (2), Keddie (2), Young, Emond. Cons: Millar (7). Pens: Millar (2). Stirling County: Tries: Swindall, Clarke. Cons: Edwards (2) Pen, Edwards.

It was Gala’s biggest win of the season and sent out alarm bells to other clubs, but Graham is keeping his feet on the ground. “We spoke about it at the interval, and the players knew they had to improve in the second half,” he said. “The players led the half-time talk. It’s a scary vision if we had played like that for 80 minutes.”

The second half was remarkable as Gala came from 11-17 down to score eight tries to add to Craig Robertson’s try in the first 40 minutes.

Gala clicked into top gear as Stirling were unable to stop the incessant attacks and the red card shown to Bengy Barsati, when he challenged the touch judge after being shown a yellow card ended any final Stirling hopes.

Stirling coach Graeme Young said: “We were ahead at half-time, but Gala got in behind us in the second half and that is very hard to defend.”

The red card had no effect on the final result as Gala led 39-17 at the time and had the bonus point safely won, but they ran amok with the extra man to destroy the visitors. Robertson completed a hat-trick of tries to add to scores by Euan Dods (2), Craig Keddie (2), Gavin Young and Alan Emond. Lee Millar converted seven and kicked two penalties.

Stirling’s first-half tries came from Steve Swindall and Tim Clarke and two Stuart Edwards conversions.

Gala: A McLean; G Somerville, C Auld, B Turner, C Robertson; L Millar, George Graham; L Pettie, R Anderson, E McQuillin, C Weir, O Palepoi, Gary Graham, K Mein, E Dods Replacements: C Mackintosh, C Keddie, S Cairns, A Emond, G Young.

Stirling County: B Addison; G Lindsay, D Gilmour, R Hogg, R Aitken; S Edwards, S Kennedy; M McDonald, A Moffat, G Mountford, C Deacons, R McAlpine, T Clarke, S Swindall, R Boswell Replacements: C Hutton, B Barsati, S Robertson, J Hope, J Forrester.

Referee: J Van der Merwe.